1001 Books to Read Before You Die (Sort-Of) Challenge #151

god-bless-you-mr-rosewater“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” – Kurt Vonnegut

In keeping with my New Year’s Goals, I am going to try and alternate my recapping posts with books from the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list that I’ve only just finished, starting with God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut.

I’m a huge fan of Kurt Vonnegut’s novels. Even if I find the novel to be only so-so, the ending almost always rescues it for me. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is the first time where the opposite was almost true. I found Vonnegut’s examination of the American wealth disparity intriguing. The way that our valuation of money is tied to our dehumanization of one another is fascinating and entertaining. It reminds me a little of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 in many aspects. And there’s not really anything wrong with the novel’s ending as far as how poetically appropriate it is. Rather, the chapter or two prior to the last felt unnecessarily rushed in a way that I’m not used to associating with Vonnegut. I liked it better than Hocus Pocus and maybe even Player Piano, but it’s nowhere near touching my favorites, Mother Night and Cat’s Cradle.


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